British Humanist Association sends The Young Atheist’s Handbook to every prison and young offender institution in the UK

Jun 12, 2015

by British Humanist Association

Today the British Humanist Association (BHA) is sending free copies of The Young Atheist’s Handbook: Lessons for Living a Good Life without God to every prison and young offender institutions in the United Kingdom.

Funded entirely by public donations, the initiative is part of the BHA’s charitable educational work to ensure that young people have access to resources which enable them to come to their own decisions about their beliefs and values. This initiative has already seen the book distributed to every secondary school library in the UK.

The Young Atheist’s Handbook is a critically acclaimed memoir from science teacher Alom Shaha. Alom’s book tells the story of his upbringing in a Bangladeshi Muslim community in London, and how he later discovered he was an atheist and learned to live a good life according to humanist principles, emphasising values like empathy and reason.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

12 comments on “British Humanist Association sends The Young Atheist’s Handbook to every prison and young offender institution in the UK

  • We teachers are constantly being told (rightly) that it’s not what is taught which matters, but what is learnt. Similarly, it’s not what books are provided which matters, but what are read.



    Report abuse

  • paulmcuk
    Jun 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Was this initiative, in part, a response to Gove’s Bible handout?

    I think prisoners and others can expect severe inroads on rights and general ideological chaos, in the style inflicted on education under the know-it-all clueless Michael Gove!
    It seems to be a specialist “expert qualification” in the ideological Cameron government, to be totally unqualified in the area of responsibility!

    http://www.greenhalghkerr.com/blog/gove-appointed-as-lord-chancellor/
    No longer fettered by coalition constraints, David Cameron has been given a free hand in the composition of his cabinet. In this respect, those in the legal sector will have eyed the appointment of the Lord Chancellor/Secretary of State for Justice with particular interest. Since 2012, the post had been held by Chris Grayling, the first non-lawyer to have been appointed Lord Chancellor since 1673, and during his tenure the feathers of the legal profession were well and truly ruffled. Although Mr Grayling had expressed a desire to continue in the position, David Cameron has instead opted to replace him with former journalist Michael Gove, another who has no formal legal training.

    Mr Gove comes with a reputation for confronting professions, and implementing controversial changes. During his time as Minster for Education, Mr Gove was renowned for taking on the teaching unions, and the Law Society Gazette has also noted this week that Mr Gove has previously expressed impatience with lawyers standing in the way of changes to the legal system.

    These comments are of particular relevance given that one of the issues high on Mr Gove’s “to do” list will be putting into force the Conservative’s proposals, outlined prior to the election, to sever ties with the European Court of Human Rights by replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 with a new Bill of Rights. The Law Society has already stated that it would oppose any repeal of the 1998 Act.

    The Conservatives’ manifesto also included outlines to “continue to review our legal aid systems,

    One teaching conference after another, passed votes of no-confidence in Gove!
    I wonder how long it will take the legal profession to do likewise!



    Report abuse

  • I actually mis-read the original piece and somehow read “prisons and young offenders institutions” as “schools”. Easy mistake to make I suppose. So that’s why I leapt to the Gove bible initiative. Although, now he’s Minister of Justice maybe nice new bibles is his master plan for cutting reoffending.



    Report abuse

  • 5
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Similarly, it’s not what books are provided which matters, but what are read.

    Ok, but in a prison environment, this principle would apply only to prisons and institutions where there is a library with a reasonably good selection of books to choose from. I think that this move by the BHA is to counterbalance the widespread distribution of Bibles in correctional institutions.

    And that is a good thing. Provide the inmates with a wider selection and present them them with alternative worldviews. Learning about other people’s experiences is also a good way to instill insight and compassion.



    Report abuse

  • I once knew a conscientious objector who was jailed for refusing to join the army, WW1. I asked him what the experience was like, especially as prisoners were not allowed to talk in those days. His reply surprised me : “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, it gave me a chance to read the Bible !” Naturally as a socialist and materialist he didn’t believe a word of it, but he got the time to read the bloody thing !

    I wonder what books Rolf Harris and Conrad Black are reading ? And he that Madoff with all that money !



    Report abuse

  • I wonder what books Rolf Harris and Conrad Black are reading ? And he that Madoff with all that money !

    Rolf Harris isn’t reading, he’s writing. He’s penned a song that calls his victims:-

    Harris, 84, targeted girls as young as seven, but in his lyrics he displays no remorse for his crimes. Instead, he callously describes the victims whose lives he wrecked as ‘woodworms’ who have ‘climbed up out of the woodwork from 40 years ago’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3123036/Rolf-Harris-s-vile-jail-song-shock-letter-cell-shamed-star-reveals-country-rock-lyrics-damn-sex-victims-greedy-wenches-brags-cushy-prison-life.html



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.